30 November 2009

U.S., India and China make climate pledges, then qualify them. Other company, industry, and government news

Top Stories

What do the US and China's emissions targets actually mean?reliability high.
China's "pledge actually only amounts to a cut of between zero and 12% off business as usual emissions in 2020 (depending on what version of the future you choose to compare it with). That is roughly a 40% increase in CO2 emissions on current levels." The U.S. commitment "amounts to only a 4% cut in emissions compared with 1990 levels." "the targets announced over the last two days by the US and China are welcome because the EU should now be forced to move to its higher conditional target of at least a 30% cut on 1990 levels (meaning a 22% cut on 2007)." See The Guardian.

Big brands lagging on climate action, survey says.reliability high.
"A survey of the carbon performance of 600 of the UK's biggest brands reveals that two-thirds are either increasing their greenhouse gas emissions, have targets that are weaker than the government's Copenhagen goal for carbon cuts, or are failing to put information about their carbon emissions in the public domain." From The Guardian. More here.

US and India pledge common action on climate change.reliability high.
"India's new commitment is to take what the White House described today as 'vigorous action to combat climate change' in return for assistance from industrialised countries for its shift from coal to cleaner energy sources. Singh made it clear there would be a price for India's cooperation. 'We will do more if there is global support in terms of financial resources and technology transfer,' he told the Council of Foreign Relations yesterday." From The Guardian.

But: Indian climate envoy: No emission cuts.reliability high.
"India's chief climate change negotiator on Sunday flatly rejected taking on reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions, thereby apparently contradicting Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, AFP reports. Singh said on Saturday that India was "willing to sign on to an ambitious global target for emissions reductions or limiting temperature increase" provided developed countries shared in the burden of financing mitigation." "'There cannot be any emission cuts,' said Saran, adding that the developed world did not expect countries like India to adopt emission reduction targets, but instead to accept 'deviation from business as usual'." See COP-15 site from AFP.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

EDF outlines £40 levy on bills.reliability high.
"Nuclear firm EDF energy says a £40 levy will need to be added to energy bills in order to make new nuclear build financially viable." "new reactors are likely to cost £5bn and the current low price of carbon in the EU emissions trading system is not enough to make nuclear build competitive with carbon-heavy generation such as coal or gas. EDF says in an analysis the government must put a floor in the carbon price to create enough certainty that nuclear power can be sold competitively in the future." " the firm's analysis yesterday assumed a price of between €25-€35 – far higher than today's level of €14. EDF says a levy of around £40 - 10 per cent of the average electricity bill - would support this floor price financially." From Business Green. [This seconds the comments of Shell reported in a previous HaraBara Daily Brief.]

Commute Greener! turns your mobile phone into a CO2 calculator.reliability high.
"Commute Greener!™ turns your mobile phone into a personal CO2 calculator. Get an application – accessible through your mobile phone and the web to:
* Set your target for reducing your personal CO2 footprint
* See the progress against your personal CO2 reduction targets
* Share experiences in a trusted, online community " From Commute Greener site. [iPhone app, costs $4 at App Store.]

New Website Lets New Yorkers Switch to Clean Energy in Three Clicks.reliability high.
"A new website launched today simplifies the process of supporting renewable energy in New York! The site - www.greenpowernyc.com - is a joint effort by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York." "This allows residents and small business owners to select their desired type of clean power and energy provider, and switch to supporting clean energy using renewable energy certificates (RECs)." See NRDC blog. Site here.

Government and Regulation

Scientists target Canada over climate change.reliability high.
"The coalition claims Canada is contributing to droughts, floods and sea level rises in Commonwealth countries such as Bangladesh, the Maldives and Mozambique. Clare Short, the former international development secretary, said: 'Countries that fail to help [tackle global warming] should be suspended from membership, as are those that breach human rights.'" From The Guardian.

Australia's carbon laws face delay, poll possible.reliability high.
"Australia's key policy to fight global warming limped closer to defeat on Monday with parliament set to delay or reject the government's carbon emissions trade scheme, raising the chances of an early election. Defeat or further delays to the carbon-trade laws will be a major embarrassment to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is in the United States to discuss climate policy with President Barack Obama ahead of December 7-18 U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen." See Reuters.

Related: Australia opposition vulnerable on emissions: poll.reliability high.
"Australia's conservative opposition could receive an election drubbing if it blocks a planned emissions trading scheme, a poll published on Saturday predicted. The widely watched Newspoll, published in The Weekend Australian, said the opposition coalition could lose at least 20 of its metropolitan seats, resulting in a widened majority for the government." From Reuters.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]